Starting a book club/study group for women was my December brainchild. After spending two months and two meetings on our first endeavor, our very small but gracious group finished “Made for More” by Hannah Anderson.
Hannah is a local writer who has achieved national attention for her book released in April 2014. In it, she targets primarily women and reminds us who we really are – not based on social status, career position, who we are married to, or whether or not we have children. Hannah paints our portrait deeper than all the superficial “look at me’s” we commonly mistake for significance. She replaces them with the value bestowed upon us by none other than our creator.
“Made for More” has been noticed by many mainstream evangelical circles including the Gospel Coalition and Lifeway. It was listed as one of the top five books for women by Churchleaders on February 9, 2015. When I heard Hannah come on WORD FM the other day, I knew she had reach a certain level of success. She is also embarking on a speaking tour over the next nine months and is doing weekly podcasts.
Here’s a girl I had the privilege of knowing before all the fanfare. She’s one of ours, Fayette County. She’s a mom I could relate to; a friend who I miss dearly. How could she end up with my job? Are you feeling me sisters? Right. And that’s exactly where Hannah meets us.
From the time I was a little girl I have loved writing. I seem to have a lot to say. In the sixth grade, I had my heart set on being a missionary to a foreign land and becoming a linguist. But…God gave me a husband who prays things like, “Lord, please don’t send me to Africa. I like it here.” He gave me children and told me to teach them myself. And I guess in later years I kind of submitted to the idea that being a missionary was going to have to look like, well, just like Hannah’s life today – in country, to my peers or, perhaps, their daughters.
Hannah’s book corrected me. She reminded me that I am already on my mission. I am already a linguist – I can decipher baby talk like nobody’s business and yinz know I’m a native.
It is not about notoriety or accolades or networking into certain circles. In my very small world, I’m elated that four people (self included) showed up to talk about Hannah’s book last night. My purpose and identity has been given to me by a God who knows better than to smother me with more than I can manage. What he calls me to do is just as much about who he is as it is about who I am. Our lives are a song that he has already written and that we simply get to sing.
Ironically, Hannah gets the “look at me” job while teaching people that they do not need it to be significant.
And that is how God honors the humble. That is how he confounds the wise. That is how he uses the lowly and lifts up the small.
So I guess what I’m really saying – to myself and everyone else – is be willing to be small. Stop comparing and competing with everyone around you for significance. We are already significant and valuable. God will give us the desires of our hearts when we learn to humbly submit to his purpose.
As for me, I’m going to keep cheering for women like Hannah who debunk our culture’s deceit. I’m going to emulate and encourage those I seek to be like simultaneously refusing to envy them. I’m going to keep running my race. There are a lot of lessons left in these elementary math books for me to teach before June. I have at least four more dinners to make this week. I am way behind on finishing the “sians” (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians) I set out to write on a year and a half ago. And I bet there are several people I need to encourage before this day is over – one being self. These are the things I have been given to do. They do not make me who I am. They are a reflection of who God made me to be before the beginning of time. Thank you, Hannah!
*If you would like to be part of our book club, email me at email@example.com